More than £2.4 million has been recovered from Scrooge bosses who have not been paying the national minimum wage, according to trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt.
About 5,000 low paid workers received a pay boost after Inland Revenue enforcement teams identified and investigated more than 3,000 cases in the past six months where people were not being paid the national minimum wage when they should have been.
The total amount recovered from employers since the introduction of the national minimum wage in April 1999 is nearly £18m.
Hewitt said: “It is great news that this money was recovered in time for Christmas, but employees should be covered throughout the year – not just during the season of goodwill.
“The vast majority of employers do comply with the rules, but we are determined that all low paid workers should get the pay they are entitled to.
“We will carry on tracking down those unscrupulous bosses who refuse to pay the national minimum wage when they should be, and make them pay up.”